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Work in New Zealand

Country flag: New Zealand

If you're looking for work opportunities in New Zealand, find out about your chances of landing a job before you pack your holdall

Job market in New Zealand

The success of your job hunt will rely on the sector you're looking to work in - while the unemployment rate has fallen since 2012, it is still much higher than it was before the 2008-2009 economic recession.

There is more competition for jobs, and finding employment may take a long time. Because of this, it's not uncommon for international job hunters to accept more junior positions in order to gain experience working in New Zealand.

Don't rule out contract or part-time work - this can also lead to permanent employment.

Immigration New Zealand  lists long-term and immediate skill shortages on its website, including jobs within the following industries:

  • Hospitality, tourism and recreation
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Business
  • IT and telecommunications
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport and logistics

Job vacancies

Search for jobs in New Zealand at:

You can also get in touch with the following recruiters in New Zealand, who may be able to aid your job hunt:

Work experience and internships in New Zealand

Doing a work placement or internship can help build up your skills as well as giving you the chance to make contacts who could help you get a permanent job.

Good places to start your work experience hunt include:

Speaking to companies directly is also a proven way of finding non-advertised opportunities.

Volunteering in New Zealand

There are a large number of voluntary agencies throughout New Zealand.

You can search for opportunities by type and location at Volunteering New Zealand  .

Language requirements

New Zealand's three official languages are English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language - the latter two gained this status in 1987 and 2006 respectively.

Most business is done in English, and most organisations require competency in spoken and written English.

New Zealand visas and immigration

There are several visa options available if you want to live in New Zealand permanently or temporarily, and these are explained in more depth on Immigration New Zealand

One such permanent option is the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) for those who have the skills, qualifications and experience New Zealand needs.

To be eligible for residence under SMC you must be:

  • 55 or under;
  • healthy;
  • of good character;
  • and speak English.

To decide if you can apply, Immigration New Zealand use a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

Other options include Work to Residence and Residence from Work.

Temporary work visas are available for people who:

  • have a job offer from a New Zealand employer;
  • are going to the country for a particular purpose or event;
  • want to gain work experience or work after studying in New Zealand;
  • want to join a partner.

Further information

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
November 2013

Graduate jobs


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